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Millville: K-PAX/3R Racing qualifying report

Pilgrim and Pobst make it an all K-PAX Volvo front row during SPEED GT qualifying in New Jersey Millville, New Jersey (May 1, 2009): Andy Pilgrim and Randy Pobst qualified their K-PAX/3R Racing Volvo S60s on the front row today for Round 3 of...

Pilgrim and Pobst make it an all K-PAX Volvo front row during SPEED GT qualifying in New Jersey

Millville, New Jersey (May 1, 2009): Andy Pilgrim and Randy Pobst qualified their K-PAX/3R Racing Volvo S60s on the front row today for Round 3 of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championships at Thunderbolt Raceway in Millville New Jersey.

Andy Pilgrim, of Boca Raton Florida, shocked himself and the rest of the field as he blasted off what he called the perfect lap of 1:23.712 to win the pole position by just over a full second over his team mate Randy Pobst.

The shock was that Andy had struggled less than an hour earlier in the final practice session of the day.

"PD (Peter Cunningham) and I have been doing a lot of qualifying runs in our careers but this was shocking," said Pilgrim. "It was one of those laps that was absolutely perfect. I was incredibly surprised at the time because I haven't come close to that time all weekend.

"We went out on new tires in the session before qualifying and the car was a mid 25's car at best and I told the crew, 'just throw anything at it, the car is pushing way too much on these new tires. Do anything, anything you can and make it big'! I just wanted to get the car to over steer."

"I made a whole bunch of changes for the second session and they didn't work, so I took them all off and put on new tires and that really worked," said Dax Raub with a huge smile after Andy Pilgrim qualified for the pole position in the #8 K-PAX Volvo.

"I don't know what they changed but they changed a bunch of stuff and it worked," said Pilgrim. "But it really only gave me one lap. It was perfect. I went out again and was a second and a half off. It was just a perfect one lap deal. My K-PAX Volvo was just perfect!"

"With all of this rain the track is still working in our favor because it is still slick and nobody is able to get a real grip on it," said 3R racing boss Bob Raub. "It has been wet and now it is green so the track is still our kind of track. We sent him back out to make another adjustment. Just because you can do one flier doesn't mean you have anything for the race. We went back out to try one more adjustment to get it ready for the race."

Defending World Challenge GT Drivers' Champion Randy Pobst, of Gainesville Georgia, qualified the #1 K-PAX Volvo S60 2nd with a time of 1:24.764 on his second qualifying lap.

"I have to congratulate Andy because I thought I ran well but not when I saw his time! Andy really did the job today and it's wonderful," said Pobst. "What a great day for K-PAX 3R Racing. For Jim Haughey the K-PAX guys to get both cars on the front row is a real crowning achievement to the blood, sweat and tears that the K-PAX/3R team has poured into these Volvos. To work that hard for that long, for the last two years since this project started for us, and get something like this out of it is really great for the team."

Pobst was 8 tenths quicker than the 3rd fastest qualifier Brandon Davis in the #10 Mustang but Pobst said that unusually the big spread in qualifying times was all about the track surface today.

"I think that the track was still pretty slimy from the rain earlier in the day," said Pobst. "Several of the drivers were complaining that they had no grip but with the all-wheel-drive of our S60-R we had a huge advantage. All we had to do was mash down on the gas and those four Toyo tires just bit and launched us out of the corners."

This was the second straight WCGT Pole Position for the K-PAX Volvos but unlike two weeks ago at Long Beach Pilgrim won the toss allowing the matching Volvo S60s to start on the front row.

"It is great for K-PAX and Volvo to be starting both cars on the front row," said Pilgrim. "We lost the coin toss at Long Beach but we won the coin toss this time so I think that this is a bit of payback on the positive side."

"We won the coin toss, which is the best news I heard today so we are going to start two beautiful blue and yellow Volvos leading the World Challenge GT field into the first corner because no one is going to pass us on the start. I can guarantee that," said Pobst!"

Round Three of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championships will begin at 12:30 pm Eastern Time at Thunderbolt Raceway in the New Jersey Motorsports Park of Millville New Jersey. The race can be followed via live timing or via audio broadcast which can be found at www.World-Challenge.com

-credit: kpax/3rr

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Series PWC
Drivers Andy Pilgrim , Randy Pobst , Peter Cunningham , Brandon Davis